He has refused all care and is abusive to me on the phone. I have waited YEARS for some help to come, but something finally happened. He ended up in the hospital and they told him he has COPD. He is supposed to quit smoking and quit drinking, but he never will.

He has a totally useless, crazy girlfriend who lives in another condo in his retirement village. I talked to her on the phone and made her promise to call me should anything else happen. They are not together very much because of negativity and drunkeness. This woman is a whack job but she's better than the nothing that I thought she has.

I know that this is a site for actual caregivers, but there are many of us out here whose parent refuses all care and refuses visits like my Dad. I just wanted to tell you that YOU WERE RIGHT.

I don't know how he ended up in the hosptial; he feels all that is totally private, but I hope all the caregivers here continue to support us "would-be-caregivers" by assuring us that SOMETHING WILL HAPPEN ONE DAY.

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Well, stuff has happened. I think he's dying now. See my post under Elder Abuse. My brother is coming over every day after work to verbally and emotionally abuse him.

PaleBlueDot...for your own health (mental and physical) you are just where you should be. Calling once a week is probably all the caregiving your Father wants. It sounds harsh, but those phone calls are probably as involved as you need to be.

Moving to help your Dad will not change anything and if he does not want you there, why would you attempt to put yourself in that kind of situation.

I am sorry that your Father is in such a condition but any changes will have to be his decision. Take care of yourself and make your own life rewarding and happy.

There is nothing you can do to change your Dad.
You can only change you.
That is, you can release any expectation that he will change, get better, say he's sorry, stop being a jerk, or anything else--IF he does any of that, it will be a miracle..
His behaviors stem from his fears and anger at himself.
His behaviors have NOTHING to do with you.
EVEN though his behaviors may take the appearance of being angry towards others.

He has avoided being diagnosed for a very long time.
He knows what he is doing, and is so far, powerless to stop himself from it.

If you have been able to form a much better life than he modeled for you, that is several kinds of miracles--and it means you learned some valuable, good things from him, as well as witnessing and being helpless in the face of his gross dysfunction.
For that, you deserve love;
but the sad part is, it is not likely he will be able to offer it to you,
except in a slurpy form that often comes with the alcohol, in moments when he might feel a bit of nice emotion.
I know.
I have a parent who has done that too.

You DO need support!
You ARE a caregiving person, even if at a distance, made all the more difficult for the situation. It is very easy to feel very vulnerable, and to be shattered emotionally, when a parent is not "there" for you.
Kids who grow up with this, kinda have to learn how to parent themselves; it can be very hard, and it is something we live with for a lifetime--even beyond when our 'broken" parent dies.

Please take care:
if your Dad suddenly needs 24/7 caregiving, taking him into your home, under those circumstances, is probably a very sadly poor idea.


i'm sorry PaleBlueDot, it's the ugly truth of alcoholism. my advice, (please feel free to take it or leave it), would be to keep the lines of communication going, but not to get your hopes up.

when you talk with him, never argue anymore; you have already seen the pointlessness, right? don't try to convince him to do anything anymore. don't offer advice or tell him what to do. don't rehash old bad history. just listen to him, and talk about your days. keep it simple and peaceful.

accept that your father is who he is and is unlikely to change. accept that this is his girlfriend and she is not going away. acceptance does not mean you like or approve of it, it only means that you understand you cannot change it and you decide not to bash your head on the brick wall trying to. it's a form of letting go.

in the last years i lived with my husband i learned these and things became more peaceful in our household.

Yes, my Dad is home from the hospital and that is the only way I found out. I called him on Sunday, like I always do. He had been in there for a week and I'm sure they told him he's got to stop drinking and smoking.

His crazy girlfriend was there and said she was doing what she could to help, but she's never helped him before. She can't even boil water; she cannot cook meals for him. I heard that he is so weak he can barely raise his arms, now that he's out of the hospital. Perhaps she will try to help him a little, but I don't think he's going to get fed. I will push the Meals on Wheels, again, which he has refused several times. It looks like he's just going to waste away from lack of care.

There is only one brother there near him, and I live 500 miles away. (I am on SSI and cannot afford to travel, but he made it clear he would not let me in through the gate at his retirement place...he is very resentful about stuff that happened 20 years ago or more). The other brother drinks and uses drugs but is several states away. This brother near him just doesn't care.

I have written to my Dad repeatedly and told him I would move down there to So Cal to take care of him but he refuses.

i hate to tell you this, but it's unlikely that your father will be kept in the hospital, even with COPD. alcoholics take a very long time to die, this is only the beginning. probably they'll do some tests, give him meds, stabilize him, and send him home. there he will pour a drink.

sure, you can hope it will be a wake up call and he will make changes, but do not break your heart hoping for it.

my husband used drugs for twenty years until he had a stroke nine years ago, and then he came home from the hospital and began drinking. i told him two years ago that i would leave when our last child turned 18. he begged me not to, he crawled on the floor crying and pleading. i said ok, all you have to do is enter rehab and get sober. get this, he said he would THINK about it. i moved out this year and i am a happy woman, even though i am still taking care of bills and groceries and whatnot for him. then i got tired of paying for his case of beer a day so i cut him off, (i hold the accounts). he still calls me almost every day and pleads for his beer. to be honest i will drop off two beers when our son drops by for a baseball or football game a couple times a month, i'm not a total itch. he has cardiomyopathy, Afib, Vtach, and diverticulosis. statin drugs wrecked his left leg. he has never recovered completely from the stroke. yesterday he woke up with pitting edema in his right leg. i'll be taking him to the doctor tomorrow. fun stuff, eh? he has an implanted cardio-defibribrillator in his chest, it's the second one mind you, and his heart has only a 48% ejection fraction rate and he is still very much alive. he will likely live a long time.

unless you have the kind of control i do, (all the money, the only vehicle, his submission), you aren't going to be able to do much more than pray. something may happen someday, just not for a long time.

I agree with Ladee, you are a caregiver because you worry about him. So that's who you are, a daughter who lives a distance from a father who does not give you info on how he is doing. In your opinion, does not see a doctor, but my guess is you don't really know for sure because distance, real and emotional, don't allow you to talk openly. That's got to be hard.

So you have brother(s) close in proximity to your father. They sound like they don't really care much about his health and keep you out of the loop. Are they drinkers too?

Why don't you tell us a little more about the situation and how far you live from your dad. As you said, "You have waited years for something to happen."

The sad thing is that your dad has chosen a way to live and this will likely be the way he dies. I don't mean to hurt you by saying that, but sometimes people just chose to do things against their own best interests. That's NOT YOUR FAULT.

My heart goes out to you, but you can't control the will of others. If you want an intervention, maybe you should call Adult Protective Services in your dad's area and explain that he can't take care of himself and your brothers present an obstacle to his care.

I guess you also have to decide if your dad would be happier in Assisted Living, drinking his life away, rather than a nursing home that takes every bit of his life away from him.

I know you have waited all of your life for someone or something to change your dad, but his medical decline may not do that. You might just have to accept him for who he is and let the rest go.

Sending you love and white light. Cattails.

What do you mean by the "authorities"? I guess you meant some doctors now know? He refused to see a primary care doc at all. They must have given him a piece of their mind while he was in the hospital and I'm SO GLAD. It could have had a much, much, worse outcome than this. But now I know that my family and siblings would never contact me if something happened to him. My two brothers are hateful people not to contact me. They know how much I care.

Sorry someone had to be right about this, but hopefully there can be a turn around for him... we never know... but now the authorities know, so hopefully he will get some help....hugs to you, and you are still a caregiver because you worry about him... hugs to you.

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